Maryland has stringent laws concerning underage drinking, particularly when it comes to driving under the influence (DUI) of drugs or alcohol. While anyone can be charged with a DUI, Maryland maintains zero tolerance for underage drinking and driving. Minors under 21 face the same legal implications as the legal drinking age and may face additional administrative restrictions imposed by the Maryland Motor Vehicles Association (MVA).
If you or your child has been arrested for a suspected underage DUI, do not plead guilty before consulting with a knowledgeable underage DUI lawyer. Contact an accomplished Baltimore underage DUI defense attorney at The Law Office of Hillel Traub to learn your legal avenues for resolving your case with the most beneficial result.
In Maryland, drivers who are 21 years or older can be charged with a DUI if their BAC is found to be 0.08 percent or higher, or 0.04 percent or higher for commercial drivers. Under Maryland’s zero tolerance law, drivers under the age of 21 can be charged with a DUI if their BAC measures at 0.02 percent.
A BAC of 0.02 percent is typically the equivalent of one drink or less—an amount not likely to impair a driver’s operation of a vehicle. Suppose a police officer pulls over an underage driver. In that case, they may claim to identify the smell of alcohol as probable cause for asking the minor to consent to field sobriety testing.
If the driver’s BAC is 0.02 percent or greater, they may face suspension or restriction of their driver’s license and criminal punishments. An underage DUI arrest can be traumatic for both the minor and their parents. Retaining a Maryland underage DUI attorney can offer families peace of mind knowing that this challenging experience does not impose lifelong implications on a minor’s future.
If you’re charged with an underage DUI in Maryland, the maximum penalties you may face in criminal court are the same as a driver over 21, including:
Additionally, drivers under 21 convicted of a DUI can have an ignition interlock device (IID) installed on their vehicle. Maryland laws for underage DUIs are strict because lawmakers want to prevent teenagers from being involved in car crashes as best they can. Minors are more likely to be involved in a DUI-related car accident because they are relatively new drivers who do not yet fully comprehend the harmful effects alcohol has on their body and its influence on their capacity to drive.
If you’re between 18–20 years old, your DUI case will be handled in criminal court, just like any other DUI case. If you’re under 18 years old, your DUI case will be heard in juvenile court. No matter what age you are charged with a DUI in Maryland, you will face suspension, revocation, or restriction of your driver’s license.
Because drivers under 21 are subject to a license suspension or restriction even when their BAC is far below the standard 0.08 percent limit, it is essential to find a Maryland underage DUI attorney who may be able to get the charges reduced or outright dismissed. Alternatively, they may negotiate probation before judgment (PBJ) instead of a guilty verdict. Consulting with a knowledgeable Maryland underage DUI defense attorney will help you and your child effectively prepare for court and leave the best impression in criminal and administrative proceedings.
When you’re facing an underage DUI charge, you can benefit your case immensely by hiring a seasoned underage DUI defense lawyer who serves Baltimore and surrounding areas. For over 20 years, Hillel Traub, founding lawyer of The Law Office of Hillel Traub, has defended clients against DUI criminal charges and license suspensions, including underage DUIs.
As former Maryland Assistant Attorney General for the MVA, he has insight into the prosecution measures against you and can present a compelling defense at your underage DUI hearing. When you partner with The Law Office of Hillel Traub, you can be confident knowing that your case will be handled meticulously and thoughtfully to aim for the most favorable results.